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Soggy Saturday
Pardon me, but I cannot see any racing!!!
We've arrived!

Racetrack Tickets:

Buy them- the ones with assigned seats. We paid roughly $90 for 3-day general admission with early bird pricing. This circuit is relatively flat, there are only a handful of hills that you can climb up for a good vantage point, and they’re crowded on Sunday. For the main race, we hiked around the circuit to view from the hill at turn 1, only to find that I couldn’t see over or around the other spectators (and I’m an average height of 5’6”). This wasn’t a problem on Friday or Saturday, but I would have preferred a bleacher seat on Sunday, or any sort of elevated vantage point . Alternatively, watching Moto3 between turns 10 and 11 was not crowded and really fun, because we had a clear view of their approach and also their departure on the far straight, so we could see some drafting and passing. This area has a handful of food trucks and toilet facilities nearby, although the lines became incredibly long between races. They have planted a huge, stupid sign in front of turn 11, so you can enjoy an ad, in lieu of seeing passes at that turn. The big screens on that side of the circuit weren’t turned on, I imagine to encourage spectators to gather closer to the paddock area, where concessions abound.

 

Admission:

At COTA, they check your parking pass as you drive in, then they check your individual passes as you enter the track gates, so there are lines. They also check your bags and discard any food, drinks or spray-on sunscreen you have. The website shows they have a lot of rules about what you can bring into the circuit, so double-check their FAQs page before you pack.

Trackside Food & Drinks:

No outside food and drinks are allowed, leaving us with the expectation that the circuit would compensate with some delicious fare, but no. It’s all standard amusement park food: pizza, burgers and beers at inflated prices. During the races, there are workers walking around selling tall-boys of beer to the crowds, which is nice. It’s a bit of a shame that they don’t also sell water bottles, considering the heat. There are huge water stations placed all around the track, and they’re free to fill. The one nearest to our entrance ran out on Sunday, but a couple of men tipped it a bit so we could all fill our bottles. They have an impressive array of drink areas that feature local beers. During Saturday’s storm there was a shelter in place warning, which also meant that the vendors were prohibited from selling anything. (Imagine sheltering inside a bar for an hour, without the luxury of enjoying a cocktail.)

Things We Brought:

We dressed lightly the entire weekend, because of the ever-changing weather. Long-sleeved cotton shirts with tanks underneath, travel pants that dry quickly and can fold-up into shorts/capris. We all wore hats for sun protection but had nothing to protect us from the wind. We were soaked in the rain Saturday morning, and then entirely dried out by noon. I wore CROC loafers and thought I regretted it because the mud was so slippery and deep, but I was glad for them when it warmed up later. They cleaned up and dried out nicely. We also brought these lightweight portable chairs from Amazon, and they fit easily into our backpacks (or fasten directly to them.) They were handy for relaxing between races, and particularly helpful when the ground was soggy. I thought I was the first to discover them, but saw many of them at COTA.

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